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The perfect way for Salvadorians to utilize Bitcoin and an example for everyone worldwide.

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Written by   292
5 months ago

Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador, and Salvadorians have many ways to get into Bitcoin and start utilizing the network. Getting into Bitcoin could help you save money, pay for goods and services, invest in other altcoins, and even get into Bitcoin sidechains. Whatever the use case, there are some steps you must take to take complete control over your money.

Salvadorians could limit themselves to only using Chivo wallets if they are not going to transact that much or if they are not going to leave money sitting on that wallet for days or even months. Someone who would use Bitcoin once a month only needs Chivo if that transaction means not holding funds for more than one day. If you are planning to buy Bitcoin and save it, you will be better off removing funds from the Chivo wallet because you can't trust any custodian.

Once you have fiat within Chivo, you need to convert it into Bitcoin, and if your amount is $10 at the current price, you will get around 40,000 satoshis, enough to have your channel outside Chivo. You only need to download a complete node LIghtning network application like Nayuta Core or Simple Bitcoin Wallet and pay for an incoming service provider to open a channel to you. A service like Coincept or LNBIG will help you in that endeavor. When writing this article, it takes 7000 satoshis to buy an incoming LN channel with Coincept. Once you pay the fees and receive your node, you will have enough capacity to accept over 100000 satoshis, far enough to move your initial $10 into your channel.

Notice that you don't need much money to manage your channels. I could say that at the current price rate, you could have your channel for as little as $5. With Coincept, you can get at least 300,000 satoshis which means you can move your initial purchase from Chivo into your wallet and be your bank and use Bitcoin in a decentralized way. After that is just a matter of usage.

Once you have your satoshis into your channel utilizing Nayuta Core or any other application that lets you manage your private keys and connected LN channels, you can start using Bitcoin as it was meant to be. Peer to peer and without third parties. If you leave funds with custodians, even if that custodian is a bank or a government sponsor application, your funds are at risk of being seized or lost to hackers or even haircuts imposed by the government to solve whatever money shortcoming it may have.

I must emphasize that the Chivo wallet is not a wallet. It is a bank account sponsored by the Salvadorian government. As such, Salvadorians should always move their money outside the application regardless of the amount of money they hold or the number of transactions they will make. It is just a good practice for citizens to take active actions to protect their private property.


Salvadorians can now enjoy what Bitcoin offers and have a bank account that is better than dollars because it is money that can't be devalued by central banks' money printing machines and foreign countries. Still, Salvadorians must diligently move their money outside custodians and put their satoshis in wallets where they can control their private keys. If using Lightning Network into wallets where they can manage what nodes to connect to, that is the power of being your bank, but you must take responsibility.

As a Salvadorian, you will save on routing fees; some on-chain transactions are at least $100. If you have more liquidity, you could send your funds to Nayuta and open a channel to another peer, and this will only carry one on-chain fee instead of one. To open a payment channel, everyone else would have to pay the routing fees and at least twice the on-chain cost.

Hopefully, more countries will soon adopt Bitcoin and a similar form as El Salvador did to help citizens get involved and save while users move their funds out to other applications.

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Written by   292
5 months ago
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